Michael and other Quick Takes


Run and hugMichael’s newest word: “baby doll.” He also, abruptly and without prompting, switched from a singsong “Ma-ma!” to “mommeeee!” at bedtime one night last week.


Michael’s speech therapist thinks he has apraxia, which basically means he has trouble making the mouth muscles cooperate. And I can see that. He’s fully 30 months now and his cognition is all there. When you ask him to say something, his mouth opens, he pauses, he thinks, he works around a bit, but he cannot get his muscles to do what he wants them to.


This, naturally, leads to frustration. My creative-Mommy-problem-solving muscles are getting stretched again as he flings himself into the realm of tantrums. It usually helps if I bend down and get right at his level and ask him “Do you want….”? I almost always know what he wants; he’s just frustrated because he can’t say it and he doesn’t realize I know. It doesn’t dispel the tantrums but I can sense a lessening of the power when he realizes I understand, even the answer is still “No”.


street visual
The shape of our street

He doesn’t realize he’s a toddler, though. He thinks he’s one of the big boys. When they built our street, they built a cul de sac. A couple of years later they built the street on around a corner. So we live on a curved street with a cul de sac at the bend. The neighborhood kids play in the cul de sac all the time, but it’s hard to convince a toddler that that black seam in the pavement is any kind of barrier to inhibit his tricycle run. There’s so much street beyond it! Besides, Big Brother and Neighbor Boy are riding bikes out into the street and up into our driveway, then cycling back down the sidewalk to do it all again. Clearly, he has just as much right as they do!


One last Michael story. Well, Michael and Christian. At the last baseball game of the season, we brought food out to keep the littles entertained. Christian had bought a Payday bar for a treat, and of course Michael decided he had to have a bite of that. Christian’s a big softie, so of course, he let him have it. (Mommy would’ve said no, and dealt with the fallout. But then, Mommy’s very grabby about her food.)

Anyway, Michael took a big honkin’ bite of that Payday and walked off. Because that’s what he does. He eats and walks.

Christian grabbed a handful of popcorn and was holding it in one hand, munching on a kernel or two at a time, when Michael came back with a look of supreme desperation on his face, and spit the Payday out on top of the remaining popcorn.

Christian yelled, “Ewwwww!” Then he stared at the not-exactly-chewed bite in his hand, sighed, and popped the whole works in his mouth: Payday, popcorn, and all.

And I yelled, “Ewwwwww!”

You know how there are certain family stories that can be summed up in a single word? We just had one of those. “Payday.”


Here’s a column I read in my diocesan paper. It addresses so much of what people criticize about faith and its relationship to reason, I just had to share it.



A few years back, I discovered the miracle that was cleaning with baking soda and vinegar.

Well, now I have a new reason to love baking soda:

Why baking soda is a great deodorant

I loved the idea but I was worried about the delivery method. How do you apply it without making a huge mess? Well–two fingers dipped in the box, and the excess shaken off, does very nicely. It works many, many times better than the crystal salts I’ve been using for the past decade or so–in fact, it works as well as the store-bought stick deodorants I used in high school and college. And it doesn’t leave that gross residue.

Happy Fourth of July!

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes about clearing churches out of food, admitting that I cant figure out podcasts, and moving our couch RIGHT in front of the TV for the World Cup